Paint tubes

Imagination Is Not for the Poor

A bitter rant about how society marks our future.

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Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

“Reason is intelligence taking exercise. Imagination is intelligence with an erection.”

― Victor Hugo

My imagination has been extremely vivid since I was very little, I used to daydream a lot and that gave me the quality of being a thinker.

That sparked a huge curiosity on me, and I would talk and talk about everything that came into my attention. It felt somewhat like a superpower, as I was the only one in my family with it. With that superpower, I wrote some short (and shitty) comics, some of which I still keep somewhere, and also, designed some fixes for my broken toys.

As I grew I became more interested in Arts, I tried to learn to play the guitar, but without a guitar and everything else I had to wait. My family didn’t actually support any of those hobbies.

But they loved how I would always come with a new idea to fix my dad’s beaten up trucks, I discovered that my creativity could be used for more material things, like mechanics and engineering.

I kept drawing and daydreaming, and also, failing at my grades, but I didn’t care, imagination was my escape from a crappy reality, I’m not going to bore you with every detail, just know I was quite poor.

And that kept going for years. Several wasted years.

During that time I didn’t have any chance to develop my creativity. Yeah, I kept writing notebooks and notebooks, which are also full of doodles. Later I was able to learn guitar, but that’s a story for another day.

But I didn’t feel society supporting creativity, and I’m not the only one who has lived this, some more kids from my background suffered this.

The Actual Story Begins Here

Creativity is not something valuable for the working class, it’s regarded as something for Bohemian painters, the kind of people who don’t have a place to fall dead.

When you have resources, you’re allowed to become whatever you want, the world thinks it’s okay if you spend your time trying to become a painter, a writer, or even an engineer (a career also related to the imagination).

But when you’re poor you’re expected to get those stupid ideas out of your head, the world will blackmail you into giving up, and this way, lots and lots of people who could have otherwise been successful end up working in crappy jobs, all of their lives. While if they had a bit more support, they could have achieved the same as their counterparts.

I managed to still develop my creativity, I firmly believe in myself and that helped me to get out of the flock, not without sacrifice. And it’s been an extremely long path.

This text is dedicated to those who can’t, who feel overwhelmed by our society’s norms that keep hammering our heads with “It’s not worthy”, “stop daydreaming”, “you’ll starve to death”, or my favorite “you’re poor, you can’t afford it”.

The ones who could do marvelous things if we stopped trying to look good just for a second and actually did something good.

I want society to make them stand out, I want the world to notice them, to start actually helping them, fixing the education worldwide, and encouraging everyone to follow their abilities instead of clipping their wings.

Poor kids also have potential, and we’re completely missing it.


Originally published in Curious at Medium